Royal Australian Air Force C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft
Royal Australian Air Force C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft

US State Department Approves Potential Sale of 24 C-130J-30 Super Hercules to Australia

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of C-130J-30 aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $6.35 billion. The Government of Australia has requested to buy 24 C-130J-30 aircraft with 4 each Rolls Royce AE-2100D turboprop engines installed; 24 Rolls Royce AE-2100D turboprop engines with Quick Engine Change Assembly (QECA) and propellers installed (spares); 60 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) (EGI) security devices, airborne; 32 AN/ALQ-251 Radio Frequency Countermeasure (RFCM) systems; 27 Guardian Laser Transmitter Assemblies (GLTA) for Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) systems; 16 AN/AAQ 24(V)N LAIRCM System Processor Replacements (LSPR); and 24 Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS) (installed).

Also included are AN/AAQ 24(V)N LAIRCM Infrared Missile Warning Sensors (MWS), Control Interface Unit Replacements (CIRU), and classified memory card User Data Modules (UDM); KYV-5M communication security modules; AN/ARC-190 High Frequency (HF) radios; AN/ARC-210 radios; AN/ARN-153 tactical airborne navigation (TACAN) systems; AN/ARN-147 receivers; AN/ARN-149(V) automatic direction finders; AN/APX-119 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders; AN/AAR 47 missile warning systems; AN/APN-241 Low-Power Color Radars (LPCR); AN/ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispensing Systems (CMDS); AN/ALR-56 Radar Warning Receivers (RWR); AN/PYQ-10 Simple Key Loaders; MX-20HD electro optical/infrared targeting systems; AN/KIV-77 IFF cryptographic appliques; Advanced Digital Antenna Production (ADAP) system components; integration support; test equipment; support equipment; secure communications equipment: precision navigation; cryptographic devices; classified software delivery and support.

Royal Australian Air Force  C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft from No. 37 Squadron conduct formation flying training in the lead up to the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of the Squadron.
Royal Australian Air Force C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft from No. 37 Squadron conduct formation flying training in the lead up to the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of the Squadron.(Photo by SGT Christopher Dickson/Australian Government Department of Defence)

The Royal Australian Air Force was the second international customer for the C-130J-30, with an initial order of twelve aircraft. On 2 November 2022, the US State Department approved the possible sale of 24 C-130Js worth up to $6.35 billion to the Australian Air Force. A fleet of 12 C-130J Hercules are operated from Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Richmond by No. 37 Squadron. The aircraft were delivered to the base between 1999 and 2001. The Australian Defence Force relies extensively on the C-130J when deploying personnel and aid. The C-130J Hercules can also be used in other roles, such as search and survivor assistance, and medical evacuation. The RAAF C-130J Hercules can carry up to 128 passengers, or eight pallets of cargo. It can work alongside other airlifters, including the C-27J Spartan and C-17A Globemaster III. Upgrades to the C-130J have enhanced communications and information-sharing, and improved the aircraft’s endurance during battle.

The Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The C-130J is a comprehensive update of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, with new engines, flight deck, and other systems. The C-130J is the newest version of the C-130 Hercules and the only model in production. As of March 2022, 500 C-130J aircraft were delivered to 26 operators in 22 countries. Externally similar to the classic Hercules in general appearance, the J-model features considerably updated technology. These differences include new Rolls-Royce AE 2100 D3 turboprop engines, Dowty R391 six-bladed composite scimitar propellers that have blade tips swept by 35 degrees, digital avionics, and reduced crew requirements. The C-130J includes a black rubber deicing boot at the bottom of the vertical fin, which is another visual difference from previous versions of the Hercules. The J-model is available in a standard-length or stretched -30 variant.

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